American Football

Will Cardinals begin Chop Shopping on the Edge?

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NCAA Football: Massachusetts at Penn State
Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Chop Robinson could be the new version of Haason Reddick in Arizona

The Cardinals have yet to address their lack of pass rush. .

The defensive player who makes the most sense for the Cardinals in this first round is Penn State’s OLB Chop Robinson, who, imo, comps especially well to Haason Reddick.

  • Chop Robinson, 6-3, 254, 32 1/2” arms, 9 1/8” hands, 4.48, 1.54 !0-Yd. Split, 34.5” V, 10’ 8” B.
  • Haason Reddick, 6-1 1/2”, 2240, 32 3/8” arms, 10 1/8” hands, 4.52, 1.59 10-Yd split, 36.5” V, 11’ 1” B.

Interestingly, the two prospects in this year’s draft who Paris Johnson Jr. has been touting for the Cardinals are MHJ and Chop Robinson. PJJ knows both of them very well.

One of the reasons why adding the Vikings’ #23 pick could turn out to be very valuable is how it gives the Cardinals are stronger chance to see Chop Robinson still on the board later in the first round.

The biggest concern is having the Bucs one pick ahead of them at #26. The Bucs’ main defensive need right now, because they have moved on from Shaq Barrett, is at edge —- and Chop Robinson would appear to be a nifty fit in Barrett’s role.

Chop Has the Chops

Per PFF:

NFL Draft Big Board | PFF

  • 2023 Grade: 90.8 —- (10th of 836 Edges)
  • 2022 Grade: 90.6 —- (6th of 858 Edges)

Robinson is an alien-like athlete. He has some jaw-dropping plays where he can fire off the line and get into the backfield with ease. However, outside of his first step and fast hands, he is an incomplete pass rusher. Most of his backfield production comes from him feasting off an inferior tackle, if he’s facing one that week. He could also struggle with length against NFL-caliber tackles. His pass-rush profile needs to expand, as he does not have a regular rotation of pass-rush moves or counters when he doesn’t win with athleticism off the jump. He is a strong run defender but has some reps where he gets out of his gap to try to make a play.

Regardless of his lack of polish, Robinson is a gifted player athletically — likely on a level that is top of the class. A lot of what leaves you wanting more from Robinson is coachable. Unlocking that is the key for him to go from a boom-or-bust athlete to a dominant edge defender.

Per Lance Zierlein of nfl.com:

Chop Robinson Draft and Combine Prospect Profile | NFL.com

Edge defender who offers the type of elite athleticism we’ve seen from players like Micah Parsons and Myles Garrett. Robinson might not be as fast as Parsons, but he’s close. He’s ultra-twitchy with the explosiveness to get on top of blockers and overwhelm them in an instant. However, he will need to level up his hand skills and attack angles to reach his potential against NFL tackles. Robinson’s electric athletic traits alone should give him a floor as a good NFL starter. If he crafts a rush approach and learns to string moves/counters together, he could reach his ceiling as a destructive force capable of forcing teams to game plan around him.

HIGHLIGHTS

Chop Robinson Player Comps:

  • Lance Zierlein: Micah Parsons
  • Matt Miller: Josh Sweat
  • Lindy’s: Nolan Smith

Conclusion:

Due to the paucity of edge talent in the 2024 NFL Draft, if the Cardinals stay at #4 and #27 and if they are honed in on Chop (pun intended), then they will likely have to trade up.

Most Likely Trading Partners:

  • Pick #21 —- MIA —- after their 2nd round pick at #55, their next pick isn’t until #158.
  • Pick #26 —- DAL —- after their 3rd round pick #87, their next pick isn’t until #174.

Therefore, it’s quite possible the Cardinals could package the #27 and #104 picks to move up into a position to take Chop Robinson. Then, Monti may recover a 4th round pick in another trade as I was able to do in this mock.

Marvelous Chopping and Cooking in this One?


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